The Great Lakes have most March ice in 41 years of records (PICTURES)


Great Lakes March 6 (NASA)

Through Thursday, Great Lakes ice cover continued its historic expansion – covering more than 92 percent of the water’s surface, the most on record in March and so late in the winter.

The lake ice extent is second most for any month in records dating back to 1973. Only February of 1979 had more ice, when 94.76 percent of the Lakes were covered.

Brian Jackson, an analyst at NOAA’s National Ice Center, believes the ice extent has peaked.

“It should begin to decline today as new ice is no longer forming in the leads as they open up,” Jackson said. “And temps are expected in the 40s along southern Lake Michigan and the upper 30s along Erie and Ontario. Combine that with the sun and my feeling is that it’s going to decline.”


The top 3 greatest Great Lakes sea ice maxima: 1979, 2014, and 1994 (National Ice Center, NOAA – full size image)

Link: Great Lakes ice data

Check out the views of the ice below, they are stunning…

Satellite views, and ice cover percentages (as of March 6)

Lake Superior, 94.5 percent covered (record 100 percent, 1996)


Lake Superior March 5 (NASA)

Lake Michigan, 92.19 percent covered (record 93.1 percent, 1977)


Lake Michigan March 5 (NASA)

Lake Huron, 96.30  percent covered (record 98.3 percent, 1994)


Lake Huron March 6 (NASA)

Lake Erie, 96.40 percent covered (record 100 percent, 1978, 1979, 1996)


Lake Erie March 6 (NASA)

Lake Ontario, 61.52 percent covered (record 85.7 percent, 1979)


Lake Ontario March 6 (NASA)

Link: Why won’t Lake Ontario freeze over? (Gawker – The Vane)

Sky and ground views

Related: Snowed in and iced over: North America and U.S. about as frozen as ever so late in winter

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Jason Samenow · March 7, 2014